The first first day of school

The first official back to school photo
The first official back to school photo

This time of year is commonly called “Back to School” time. Ah! How I have loved it. I have this mismash of memories: the sharp box of crayons all lined up by color, the cut brown and orange leaves hanging on the wall, the course outline printed next to the computer, the syllabus slipped into the front cover of a blank notebook, the snap of a trapper-keeper with a ream of paper and a pencil holder in front. I loved every bit of it. I loved the newness and the fresh start. I loved the office supplies. I loved school. In college, I loved all parts of it: social, cultural and academic all swirling together in one caffeinated delight.

Perhaps one of the things I miss most in my working life is the ‘back to school’ sense. My job is the same: winter and summer. It is never finished or finishable. It doesn’t change. I miss that fresh trapper, new syllabus feeling.

The older you get, the fewer firsts you have. My first day of school, ever, I do not even recall. My first kiss is a dim memory. My first job, apartment, pregnancy, home purchase and production database mistake are all in my past. Today I have another first.

Grey channels his inner
Grey channels his inner Calvin while Thane squirms

Today is my first first day of school as a parent. Grey started preschool this morning. He’ll be going all day, three days a week. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays he will be a Caterpillar taking his first steps down the path of education. Who knows how far he’ll walk down that path. Will he love it? Take to it like a fish to water? Will he struggle? Will he excel in fields I never considered? He will go into that preschool classroom with a Spongebob blanket for naptime, a command of the alphabet and his own charm. He will fall deeply in love with his teacher, or not. He will make friends. He will make enemies. He will make mistakes. He will make pipe-cleaner art projects we will put proudly on the wall. He will decide he loves school. He will decide he doesn’t. He will go with the flow.

It is too much to say that this is the first step on the path to the rest of his life. He’s already trod down that path. He does know how to read – a little. He knows his alphabet. He can count to sixty before getting bored. He knows how to make friends and play tag. This is just the next step on the path to which his feet have already been set.

But still. This is our first first day of school.

Grey in his classroom with his new TA, Melissa
Grey in his classroom with his new TA, Melissa

This post brought to you by Starbucks Coffee

There’s a huge debate going on right now about Mommy Bloggers (a literary genre if ever there was one) and product placement. To sum up: lots of people read Mommy Blogs. These blogs are about daily living. If the blogs mention useful products in daily living, lots of people are introduced to the products in a positive, authentic way. This is hard to do in conventional media. Advertisers have figured this out, and started sending free products (and more!) to the mommy bloggers. Readers of Mommy Bloggers now get suspicious every time a brand name product is mentioned.

I’m personally suspicious that Amalah is on the payroll of Pactiv Corporation, a manufacturer of fine airplane plastic cups; a company clearly looking to branch out into a toy division.

It’s all just another salvo in the war between those who want to sell things and those who want to use their money for fripperies like college tuition and retirement.

I should mention, for the record, that this blog is no way supported by the “Blogola” industry. Accusations that I’m on the payroll of the Miss Wakefield Diner, White Lake State Park or Starbucks Coffee Company are entirely slanderous and I vehemently deny any such thing. Sadly.

Dear Starbucks,

Please consider sponsoring my blog. I have been praising you to the skies for, uh, about 15 years now. I drink your coffee every day. I mention that I’m drinking your coffee in every other Facebook update. If you send me a pound of Sumatra (ground for a flat bottom drip) and a coupon worth two mochas (Grande, two pump, non-fat, extra hot no whip mocha) a week, plus an allowance for one travel mug every two months, I’m you’re woman.

You should definitely consider my blog an amazing opportunity for you. I have a readership of roughly 5 unique hits a day, three of whom are related to me. Sadly, my mother and husband do not drink coffee, but maybe reading about it all the time in my blog will wear them down. My blog traffic has been steadily growing. In 6 months I’ve gone from an average of two a day to six a day! That means by retirement age I should have a readership of at least 30 a day. You can’t pass up numbers like that!

Really, think about it. I’ll be over here drinking Starbucks brand coffee while you do.


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